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Playing bass with dobro in Open D tuning

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by petesh7, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. petesh7


    Apr 22, 2009
    I have a session this week with a guitar player who plays a dobro in open d tuning. I am looking for some tips etc re accompying in these circumstances. I have a working knowledge of how open tuning work in relation to chords etc but I'am not to sure how to approach this form a bass palers perspective

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    Posting duplicate threads really won't get you more responses, you know. It's just annoying.
  3. petesh7


    Apr 22, 2009
    It was done by accident. First time user and I did not put in a title the first time round
  4. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I recently played session bass for my friends' band because their regular bassist couldn't make it. Normally I tune my basses in standard, but they tune to drop C. So I put some heavier strings on and tuned my bass's strings, from lowest to highest: C F Bb Eb

    One song they tuned up to standard D for, so I just borrowed my friend's Fender Jazz and tuned it D G C F. I find that tuning in 4ths as is standard, no matter what the lowest note is, is most comfortable for me.
  5. petesh7


    Apr 22, 2009
    Thanks for that
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I don't see as it's any different from playing with a guitarist, a keyboard, or a kazoo orchestra. Your job as bassist is the same thing. Define the harmony and connect the rhythm with the melodic parts of the music. I utterly fail to see what a Dobro, or it being in open tuning has to do with what to play.

    Can you elucidate?

  7. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    I played for years in a duo/trio with a guitarist that regularly used half a dozen different tunings, drop D, double drop D, open Gm, drop C, etc. As long as you can hear what he's playing and know something about structure of the song, you can ignore the fact that his tuning is different and play your bass. This is true if you're playing along side a mandolin, ukulele or piano, so why should a retuned guitar/dobro be any different? I'm not trying to be a smart @ss, really. What I'm saying is don't worry about it, dive in and have fun. If all else fails you can always say, "What chord is that?" or "What are you playing there?", I do it all the time. Or use the puzzled look on your face and pointing at the fingerboard method, that works, too.
    (It's funny how every other instrument expects the bass to be able to just follow along, but the vast majority of them can't follow the bass when you outline a chord progression.)
  8. petesh7


    Apr 22, 2009
    Thanks for those responses you have more or less confirmed that I was on the right track.
  9. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    Agreed. I play dobro too and I don't expect the bassist to do anything different to accommodate me. Vice versa: if I play bass I don't do anything different to accommodate another instrument (other than perhaps locking in to the drums).

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